Pathology Trends

Pathology groups face a number of challenging pathology trends in the era of radical healthcare reform.

One of the primary trends is that like clinical laboratories, these businesses are carrying significant and potentially unsustainable levels of unreimbursed services. Although bad debt and uncompensated care in the healthcare industry are not new, they have been increasing at the same time that downward pressure is being applied to pathology reimbursement.

Medical laboratories and pathology groups are also facing enormous levels of change in their clinical, regulatory and financial environments. As the Affordable Care Act is implemented, laboratories see downward pressure on reimbursement at both the federal and payer level, coupled with increased emphasis on efficiency and quality.

Labs and health care providers need to seriously consider moving toward a retail business model. Changes in the health insurance market are now requiring patients to pay more out of pocket, and the perfect storm of bad debt and decreased requirement is pressuring laboratories.

Other pathology trends include:

  • Growing emphasis on the continuum of care
  • Increasing patient interaction directly with the lab organization
  • Mounting demands of interoperability across a proliferation of disparate information technology systems to achieve meaningful use
  • Evolving requirements for communication and data sharing with payers, accountable care organizations (ACOs), health information exchanges (HIEs) and other trading partners
    Industry observers say that responding to each of these trends requires access to the most complete set of patient data possible. Accurate patient identification and record consolidation is central to achieving these goals.

In addition, labs and pathologists are increasingly urged to add value to the testing services they perform by leveraging information technology. For instance, advanced health information technology can be deployed within clinical labs and pathology groups specifically to meet changing patient expectations, while supporting the needs of client physicians for optimal workflow.

New CPT Codes Debut for Digital Pathology Services

CEO SUMMARY: New digital pathology CPT codes took effect Jan. 1. Because the new codes are designated as Category III, they are not subject to Medicare and private payer reimbursement yet. Instead, federal health officials will monitor the use of the new codes in 2023 to determine h…

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Eight Macro Trends for Clinical Labs in 2023

CEO SUMMARY: Laboratory administrators and pathologists will want to carefully study eight important trends that will guide their business strategies in 2023. Many of these macro trends center on financial and operational difficulties and ways to steer around these obstacles. Anothe…

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2022’s Top 10 Lab Stories Confirm Challenging Times

CEO SUMMARY: There are valuable insights to be gleaned from The Dark Report’s “Top 10 Lab Industry Stories for 2022.” Several of this year’s story picks involve external forces reshaping healthcare in the United States in profound ways. Other story picks for 2022 illustrate …

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AI Fuels New Efforts in Computational Pathology

CEO SUMMARY: Computational pathology combines technology and data science to improve laboratory medicine. Mayo Clinic is exploring how this new model can improve productivity and diagnostic accuracy in ways that even labs at smaller hospitals can put into practice. Success will stem…

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How to Better Recruit Millennial Pathologists

   CEO SUMMARY: With the Great Resignation…

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COLA Re-enters CLIA Accreditation for Pathology

  CEO SUMMARY: COLA again h…

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New Trends Reshaping Healthcare, Lab Testing

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March 14, 2022 Intelligence: Late-Breaking Lab News

Telehealth proved to be popular with Medicare patients during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The federal U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported telehealth visits for Medicare beneficiaries increased in 2020 by an incredible 63 times—from approximately 840,000 in 2019 to 52.7 m…

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Pathology Investment in AI Signals New Trend

CEO SUMMARY: Australian artificial intelligence (AI) company Harrison.ai got AU$129 million from multiple investors, including both Sonic Healthcare—Australia’s largest pathology group—and I-MED Radiology Network. Pathology’s growing interest in AI tools, along with the grow…

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Sonic Healthcare Acquires ProPath, PathGroup Buys Path Consultants

CONSOLIDATION AMONG PRIVATE PRACTICE ANATOMIC PATHOLOGY GROUPS continues with news that two large regional pathology groups decided to sell to larger pathology companies.  The first transaction announced was on Dec. 16, 2021, when Sonic Healthcare …

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